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news ISSUE 40 ¼ OCTOBER 2017


Behind the scenes: The making of the coral adventurer It took 2 years of planning within our team, consultation with technical experts, discussions with shipyards, and endless rounds of design edits before we ended up with the decision to build the Coral Adventurer with Vard,” says General Manager, Mark Fifield. “We were conscious we were building a ship to serve us for decades”. “Unlike most cruise companies that outsource parts of their marine operations, we have always done everything ourselves – we own, operate, manage, crew and maintain our own vessels. So with our strong engineering team in-house, together with our guest expectations, we had a very clear sense of what we wanted right from the beginning. Guest experience, environmental footprint and expedition capabilities were the three main factors that dictated the design. Over the past 12 months, we have thoroughly considered every aspect of the new ship; from the flow of passengers and crew, storage and handling of the tenders. We have ended up with a vessel that is technologically advanced and ecologically sensitive, and pays homage to our beginnings as a company in Tropical North Queensland”. Says Elizabeth Webb, Sales Distribution Manager: “For the interiors, we bucked convention and did not hire a naval design firm. Instead, we looked at designers of inspiring living spaces that reflected the Coral Expeditions ethos. This search lead us to a well known Australian interior design firm, Arkhefield, who have given Coral Adventurer an authentic feel with local Queensland materials, colours and textures.”



Our unique tender system, featuring two Xplorers and our hydraulic easy boarding platform.


“I like that the ship will also feature artworks by Indigenous artists in Arnhem Land and North Queensland – regions we have been visiting for decades. Our upcoming art-focused Cape York and Arnhem Land cruise gives us an additional opportunity to commission art pieces for the ship right at source and tell the stories behind them!”. With advanced blue water expedition capabilities typical of larger vessels, Coral Adventurer’s technical features include active stabilisers to dampen sea motion, a sophisticated diesel-electric propulsion system and azimuth thrusters that turn 360 degrees, which, together with her shallow draft, offer unmatched manoeuvrability and access to remote locations. Coral Adventurer will be slightly larger than our current flagship Coral Discoverer, carrying a maximum of 120 passengers in 60 cabins., but she will feel very similar to the Coral Discoverer, with the same relaxed and intimate on- board experience. The new ship will feature

our much loved ‘Xplorer’ tenders mounted on hydraulic platforms that allow guests to embark and disembark for shore excursions without steps, queues or waiting. A natural, light filled lecture lounge will be equipped with modern technology for daily presentations and briefings by expedition experts. We continue our open bridge tradition, with a wrap-around promenade deck around the bridge observation lounge to allow guests to see the operation of the ship amidst panoramic views. “I joined Coral Princess Cruises 14 years ago when we started to build Coral Discoverer. While the company is now larger and more mature, we have been careful to maintain the same culture. Many of the same staff remain involved, and it’s important that the experience for our guests remains unchanged” says Mark Fifield. “It is a proud milestone to announce the next addition to our fleet.”


There is one mariner, more than any other, that provides a historical connection to so many of the areas that we visit with Coral Expeditions - the Kimberley coast, Tasmania, New Zealand, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Islands. A superb seaman who made a series of remarkable voyages of exploration in some tough little ships that should be better known in history - Heemskerk, Zeehaen, Limmen, Zeemeeuw and Bracq. That man is Abel Janszoon Tasman.

^ The ships Heemskerk and Zeehaen at Three Kings Island, 1642. By Isaac Gilsemans, (National Library of New Zealand)

In 1642, he was given command of an expedition to establish if there was a passage from the Indian Ocean through to the Pacific, south of the “Southland”. For this voyage, he was given 2 vessels, the yacht Heemskerk and the flute Zeehaen, an efficient and handy cargo carrier. We know from charts of the area that he travelled right along the “Southland’s” north coast, around what is today known as the Gulf of Carpentaria and Arnhem Land (all Dutch names) and eventually down that part of the North-West coast where his three little ships braved the formidable tides and labyrinth of islands, reefs and inlets that make up the remarkable Kimberley coast. When Tasman arrived back in Batavia in June 1643, he had completed one of the greatest exploration voyages in history, circumnavigating the “Southland” putting Van Diemen’s Land and Staten Land on the chart of the world, and further exploring the Pacific Island groups, New Guinea and the Spice islands. As Senior Master for Coral Expeditions, I have been offered many exciting opportunities to develop new itineraries in some of the most remote, scenic and interesting coastlines of the South Pacific. Today, I’m proud to announce our inaugural voyage on board the newest addition to our fleet, Coral Adventurer. She will follow in the wake of the great explorer, Tasman, on our own voyages of exploration. Having been involved in the planning and design process right from the beginning, I am excited about taking command of the Coral Adventurer. I look forward to seeing you onboard in 2019!

^ Senior Master Gary Wilson

-- Gary Wilson


Coral Adventurer


24 April 2019 Singapore to Darwin Priority for Xplorer Club members. Followed by additional voyages from Australia “In the Trail of Tasman” Call 1800 079 545 or visit our website

^ The route of Tasman’s circumnavigation of the Australian continent (detail). Published by J. van Braam & Gerard onder de Linden, 1724. (Dutch National Library)

A life in anthropology There is no place on earth in which the study of anthropology is quite so fulfilling as Papua New Guinea, according to Dr Bruce Pohlmann, drawing on his decades of experience living, studying and working in New Guinea. “For the anthropologist, our job is to explain how the strange is familiar and the familiar is strange. Whilst Papua New Guinea will be home to many unfamiliar sights, sounds and experiences for guests, they will be just as fascinated by some of the parallels with society back home” remarks Dr Pohlmann. Our series of four seven-night expedition departures venture where few have ventured before. Delving deeper into the heart of Papua New Guinea, the itinerary follows the course of the river further into the interior; passing through some of the oldest and most dense rainforests in the world, encountering local tribes with rich cultures and traditions, and encountering wildlife such as the famed Bird of Paradise.

> A CONVERSATION WITH DR POHLMANN Q. When did you first become interested in anthropology, and how long have you been an anthropologist? A. I started out in university as a pre-medical student; my plan was to work with ethnic minorities in Chicago. So, I took anthropology as a major. After my first class, I dropped out of pre-med and decided to become an anthropologist. It was one of those instances where a charismatic professor can just enchant you with her field of study. That was almost 50 years ago. Anthropology is one of those disciplines where the field completely takes over how you see the world. What’s the most remarkable thing you’ve discovered as an anthropologist? Indonesia (where I live) has the national motto of “unity in diversity.” I think that after all the cultures that I lived with or studied, that this unity of humankind is the most striking thing. We all play out our lives in different ways: different ways of raising children, different religious beliefs, different systems of social organization. But, in the end, we’re all after the same things: how to make a living, how to raise our children, what is the meaning of life, what makes us human, what is there beyond what we can see, what is happiness and how do we get there. Those are some of the big questions that unite us. We get people to see that our way of life isn’t the only way, that there are other equally valid, equally valuable ways of organizing our lives.

^ Carvings from remote villages


The timeless cultures in the heart of Papua New Guinea


Scouting Expeditions on the Sepik River 7 nights


6, 13, 20, & 27 February 2018 > Madang to Madang

How/when did you get involved with PNG?

Where are your favourite places to explore in PNG and why?

As a young student, I came across the works of Margaret Mead and decided that I wanted to visit the cultures that she wrote about. Later, when I was a teaching associate at the University of California, Berkeley, I taught about the Dani (from the Indonesian side of New Guinea). That led to my fascination with the whole island. I lectured some on the Mundugumor, Iatmul, Chambri and Arapesh, all groups that either Mead or her husbands, Gregory Bateson and Reo Fortune, studied.

I’ve lived in many small villages, so visiting any village in the PNG is a treat for me. I’m particularly interested in architectural forms. While a lot of living structures in the villages are not much different from what you find on the Papua side of the island, there are some unique structures like the haus tambaran. I’ve been living in a small fishing community in Bali for most of the past 28 years, so I’m looking forward to visiting some of those so that I can see how they compare to what I’m familiar with in Indonesia.

Eventually, I was offered a job teaching in a mining community in what was then called Irian Jaya, the Indonesian half of New Guinea. I spent nine years there teaching and studying some of the local cultures, especially the Dani, Amungme, Asmat and Kamoro. During that period, I began reading as much as I could about the cultures of our neighbours in the PNG. I had the chance to visit a few times, and since then I’ve been reading and writing about both sides of the island. What makes PNG so fascinating? The enormous amount of diversity in the country is just amazing. There are approximately 800 languages and hundreds of cultures/ethnic groups (an anthropological slightof-hand that I’ll discuss in my talks) living in a wide array of ecological systems. The wide variety of strategies that these groups have used to adapt to their environments has led to some unique cultural forms. The continuing importance of magic, despite the widespread adoption of Christianity is particularly fascinating; especially for me as I live in a place where magic and a monotheistic religion co-exist and influence each other. And, of course, there’s PNG’s location in the Coral Triangle, which means some incredible diving and snorkelling.

What are some of the topics you will be exploring on the expedition? I’ll be talking about a number of the local cultures that we will visit as well as a few that we may only have some passing contact with, but that have some important cultural features for people interested in Melanesian history and culture. More specifically, I’ll be talking about the people of the Trobriands, Dobu, Chambri, the Tolai, and Kaulong, and most likely a few others. We’ll be looking at a little colonial history, the impact of WWII on these people, the role of religion and magic in these societies, as well as marriage, family and kinship – one of my favourite topics. What are you looking forward to on the expedition? The cultures along the Sepik have very elaborate rituals and ceremonies, as well as some incredible art. But it’s hard to focus on just one or two areas, as every place that we visit has something unique to experience.

Experience tasmania > GROUP OFFER - 10% OFF Tasmania is a classic Australian travel destination with its distinctive array of natureoriented activities, vast rugged wilderness areas, and world-renowned produce from seafood, cheeses, mushrooms and farm fresh including favourites, raspberries and cherries. Head south down the Derwent River and you will find yourself exploring the amazing Bruny Island which has some of the best food and wine in the country. Further south you will find the Huon Valley, wine and cider country. If you keep going you can explore some amazing spots including Hastings Caves and the enigmatic deep south. To the southwest is the oceanic inlet of Port Davey, World Heritage Wilderness area with its wild rivers, quartzite peaks and extensive waterways, while to the East is the amazing Tasman Peninsula, home to Port Arthur and its evocative convict history. Head towards the sea cliffs and you will be rewarded with striking views.



Our 7-night coastal cruise takes you on a journey to experience the best of Tasmania, and for the first time, on the Coral Discoverer. Contact our friendly and knowledgeable Reservations team on 1800 079 545 or email tasmania@coralexpeditions.com


Walking Wineglass Bay


Remote Port Davey and the Melaleuca township, accessible only by boat, aircraft, or foot.


7 Nights > Hobart to Hobart. Departs weekly from January to March.

EXPEDITION DIARY > EXPEDITION LEADER KRISTY KING > KIMBERLEY 10 NIGHT CRUISE “Friday was Montgomery Reef day. This wonder of nature is over 400 square kilometres and rich in marine life. As the tide ebbs, seawater drains off the reef in tidal waterfalls. Hundreds of turtles could be seen popping up for air and quickly diving again when we approached. Fish and sharks, as well as Eastern Reef Egrets and a lone Brahminy Kite could be seen fishing on the reef.” Day Five: Friday, September 8, 2017

OUR RANGE OF EXPEDITIONS INCLUDE > Great Barrier Reef > Tasmania > The Kimberley > Cape York & Arnhem Land > Papua New Guinea > Spice Islands

Book online coralexpeditions.com FREECALL

1800 079 545


+61 7 4040 9999 outside Australia




PO Box 2093 Cairns 4870 QLD Australia ABN 51 010 809 417

Profile for Coral Expeditions

Discover News October 2017  

Discover News October 2017